90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Conclave Begins: Picking A Pope

The cardinals sit down in Rome. The conclave begins. We look at the politics and prayer of choosing a new pope.

From left, US Cardinals Justin Francis Rigali, Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger Mahony leave the North American College to go to the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, Tuesday March 12, 2013. (AP)

From left, US Cardinals Justin Francis Rigali, Donald Wuerl, Timothy Dolan, Francis George and Roger Mahony leave the North American College to go to the Vatican’s Domus Sanctae Martae, the Vatican hotel where the cardinals stay during the conclave, in Rome, Tuesday March 12, 2013. (AP)

Today it’s on.  The cardinals in their conclave in the Vatican in Rome.  In the Sistine Chapel, no less, where Michelangelo’s painted vision of God reaches out on the ceiling to touch the hand of mortal man.

The cardinals gathered to choose a pope.  It has been a fraught month for the Catholic Church.  The first pope in centuries to step aside alive.  A swirl of scandal around the Vatican and beyond.  Deep issues still for devout Catholics and for doubters.

This hour, On Point:  at the intersection of history, politics and prayer, we look at the cardinals in their conclave in Rome.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rachel Donadio, Rome bureau chief for the New York Times. (@racheldonadio)

Thomas Reese, Jesuit priest and director of the Religion and Public Policy Program at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. (@thomasreesesj)

Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter. (@dcoday)

Kathleen Cummings, associate Professor of American Studies and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “The Sistine Chapel is ready. The new pope’s clothes are laid out. Now it’s up to the cardinals. The work to elect a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI begins in earnest Tuesday, with a morning Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The service — open to the public — will be the last public event featuring the 115 cardinals who will choose the new spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.”

National Catholic Reporter “As has been well reported by Joshua McElwee and John Allen, there are currently no frontrunners in the papal election. This could easily change in the next few days before the conclave starts, but it is surprising granted that it has been almost three weeks since Pope Emeritus Benedict announced his resignation. One would think that at least a couple of frontrunners would have surfaced by now.”

The Washington Post “The cardinals could pick a pope on the very first ballot on the first afternoon of the conclave, though that would be surprising; in recent conclaves, popes have been selected after at least two days of balloting.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 29, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Sep 29, 2014
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment
 
NPR’s Chris Arnold On Garnished Wages
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

NPR’s Chris Arnold took part in a remarkable new reporting series tackling the rise of garnished wages as a way to pay off debt. He talked to us today about the series.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment